With the prospect of this season’s farm-gate milk price looking closer to $9 than $8 and a significantly better than expected free-trade deal with the UK, economically things are looking rosy for Fonterra farmers. I’m a strong supporter of the co-op and was intrigued when it announced it was looking to change its capital structure to make it easier for farmers to join.
The new proposed capital structure put forward by Fonterra’s board would make joining the co-operative easier by reducing the high capital investment required to supply it and allow farmers greater financial flexibility when they decide to leave.
Fonterra last changed its capital structure when it adopted Trading Among Farmers (TAF) in 2012. TAF was a response to the issue of farmers exiting Fonterra and redeeming their shares, meaning large sums of money were washing in and out of the co-op, mainly out.
It addressed one issue, the threat to Fonterra’s balance sheet, but ignored systemic problems like the high cost of becoming a Fonterra supplier and the fact suppliers were still leaving the co-op in favour of independent processors who don’t require farmer investment. . .
An Esperance farmer has warned unvaccinated people requesting harvest jobs that agriculture is not the “industry of last resort”.
As vaccine mandates edge closer for many West Australian workers, a number of people have posted on Esperance social media pages declaring their vaccine-free status and asking for work.
Although farm workers are not required to be vaccinated, the WA government has included them in the list of workers who will not be able to work during a lockdown.
Grower Mic Fels said employers could face penalties of up to $100,000 if unvaccinated staff were found breaking those rules. . .
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor must stand up for the industry that has carried New Zealand though the Covid crisis, says National’s Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger.
“Every day, every facet of the industry is calling on the Minister to do more to support growers and producers, and every day there is radio silence from him.
“One of the most pressing issues is the shortage of skilled staff and the inability to bring skilled migrants into the country.
“Farmers, vets, contractors and processors are among many groups that need skilled people to keep our essential industries at full potential. People are needed now. . .
A new project backed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) aims to establish a hemp seed processing plant in New Zealand that could be a gamechanger for the local hemp industry.
MPI is contributing more than $245,000 to Hemp Connect’s two-year pilot project through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.
The project ultimately aims to enable locally grown hemp food products to compete with imported varieties. Since 2020, the Levin-based company has been working on creative solutions for processing New Zealand grown hemp more efficiently and reducing production costs.
“One of the keys to reducing costs has been researching how to use the entire seed, as well as the associated waste streams,” says Mathew Johnson, Managing Director, Hemp Connect. . .
Craigmore Sustainables, one of the largest diversified farm management companies in Aotearoa, has secured nearly $80 million in funding from ASB in an innovative sustainability-focused deal.
The sustainable transition loan provides a pathway to develop and embed Craigmore’s sustainability strategy and targets. The company’s portfolio includes a mix of dairy, grazing, forestry and horticultural properties covering almost 20,000 hectares throughout New Zealand.
Under the loan terms, Craigmore has committed to providing a robust sustainability strategy with targets and an action plan, within 12 months of drawdown.
Craigmore Chief Executive Che Charteris says partnering with ASB will help to achieve its bold aspiration to be a leader in land-based reduction of greenhouse gases. . .
An expansive dairy operation offering scale and flexibility across all dairy system types presents an opportune investment in Northland to either owner operators or farm investors.
The 357ha property on Frith Road, Mamaranui combines the best of the district’s soil types into a productive, accessible dairy unit that also enjoys the security of having 80ha of irrigation from the neighbouring Kaihu River.
The farm’s well-developed flats are based on productive silt soils while the rolling country consists of free draining Te Kopuru sandy loam, providing a good balance across the entire farm. . .